Patients in Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield will still be able to access services during the evening and weekends in a GP ‘hub’ near to where they live, following a 12 week public consultation.
The CCG has announced the decision to implement changes to ‘7 day services’ following support received at the Durham Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 11 June 2019. The CCGs Governing Body approved the recommendations presented in an independent report in a meeting held in public on 28 May.
Changes to the service providing additional appointments during evening and weekends via GP ‘hubs’ have been agreed and will be in place in September/ October this year.
Additional appointments will be available at the following ‘hubs’ but it is important to note these services are not walk in services and can only be accessed via your own GP practice or NHS111.
In the Durham Dales additional appointments will be available from 12 noon – 8 pm during the week and 10am – 2pm on a weekend in Bishop Auckland.
In the Easington area, appointments will be available from 12 noon – 8 pm during the week and 8am – 1pm on a weekend in Peterlee and in Seaham from 6-8pm during the week and 8am – 1pm on a weekend.
In Sedgefield area, additional appointments will be available 12 noon – 8pm during the week and 10am-2pm on weekends from Newton Aycliffe, In addition, Spennymoor will provide appointments from 6 – 8pm during the week and 10am-2pm on a weekend and in Sedgefield from 10am-2pm on a weekend only.
There have been changes to the number of hubs available, but patients in these areas will still be able to access the service from a neighboring ‘hub’.
We will provide more support to access transport for those who need it, especially to towns that no longer have a ‘hub’. In addition more pre- booked appointments out of hours for those patients who struggle to access normal GP services will be provided and enhanced services for frail and housebound patients.
The CCG wants to remind people that they should think GP surgery first during the day between 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday and contact NHS 111 at all other times where clinical staff will signpost you to the most appropriate service based on your clinical need.
Dr Stewart Findlay, Chief Officer, NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG said, “The changes will ensure that we continue to provide high quality prompt treatment or advice. We will be launching a local marketing campaign in advance of the changes advising the public what to do if they are unwell and their GP practice is closed.
‘The CCGs priority is to commission services that reflect the health needs of our entire population and it is clear from the numbers we are seeing in the current nine hubs that we need to change the service and make sure we are investing NHS funding wisely and providing services that meet patient’s need.
‘We are looking at enhancing the patient transport service and bringing more outreach services into the most vulnerable patient’s homes following feedback during the consultation and we will keep the public informed of this.’